Shrines are pretty to look at and take pictures of, but if you understand the manners and customs, your shrine visits will be ten times more enjoyable. This 2-hour shrine tour will help you with just that! The first thing you do when you arrive at the shrine is clean your hands to purify your soul, then offer a prayer at the main building. I will teach you the proper way of doing them as well as the differences in manners between Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Then, we'll go inside to create your own "goshuincho", a book to collect unique seals (goshuin) offered at shrines and temples across the country as proof of your visit. In other words, it's a magical item that will make your shrine/temple hopping extra fun and rewarding! While waiting for the goshuin to dry, I'll show you around the main building and give you an introduction to the shrine's history, as well as tips on how best to enjoy your shrine visits. You can also experience drawing "omikuji" fortunes, and writing your wishes on "ema," a votive tablet. Before leaving the shrine, don't forget to take with you the "goshuin map" that shows nearby shrines/temples, which will surely come in handy during your trip.
I'm Yohei, the chief priest of a time-honored shinto shrine in Kitakyushu City. I used to be a businessman working in the pharmaceutical industry, but 10 years ago, I thought "You only live once, why not try it?" and decided to jump into the wonderful world of Shinto. There's still a lot for me to learn, but thanks to my secular background, I can share intriguing facts and answer questions from visitors' point of view. As Kitakyushu has become a port of call for big cruise ships, I'm beyond excited to show many overseas guests beautiful Japanese culture and tradition through visiting our shrine.
Goshuincho, Ema, Omikuji
Located right under Wakato Bridge in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka, then the longest bridge in the East, this shrine boasts more than 1000 years of history. Legend has it that the shrine was built around 1800 years ago to enshrine a glowing stone found at the bottom of the sea by Takeuchinosukune, a faithful servant of Emperor Chuai and Empress Jingu. The divine stone is said to be still sitting in the innermost of the shrine's main building.
If you want to cover your goshuincho with particular paper or cloth, feel free to bring it.
*Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. *Please refrain from showing too much skin in order to respect the sanctity of the shrine.
Every experience of Shinto Shrine